thegenealogygirl


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Tuesday’s Tip: Awesome & Easy Source Citations in WordPress

Tuesday's Tip - source citations

Today’s tip is super simple – no video necessary!

Over my four years of writing about genealogy, there have been many times I wanted the ability to add source citations – or footnotes.  My friend Cathy had figured out a way to do it.  Her way is great but felt like too many steps for my schedule.  (And general lack of skill with html code.)  😉

You can also upgrade your blog to a Business Plan and use plug-ins to create source citations.  That seemed like a steep price tag for footnotes.

A few weeks ago I did a little digging online and then sent a query to WordPress support and was led to a super simple way to add source citations in WordPress.

First, I want to bring your attention to a recent post I wrote using this trick.  In “52 Ancestors – ALL the Babies of Mary Brown Wood,” I included thirteen source citations.  Here is an image showing the first four citations within the body of the post:

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.24.14 PM

 

Notice the little blue numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 scattered throughout this section of text.  If you click on any of those numbers in the original blog post, it will take you right to that citation at the end of the post.  After viewing the citation, you can click on the blue arrow to pop you back up to the body of the text.  Here is what the citations look like at the bottom of the post:

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.24.29 PM

 

I LOVE them!!  They are clean, simple, and easy to use.

So.  How do you do it?

The first step is to go to your admin page on WordPress.  Many of us are using the new WordPress tool that looks like this:

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.22.17 PM

 

But you need the admin page that looks like this:

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.23.08 PM

 

If you don’t know how to get there, type https://yourblognamehere.(your extension here, mine is .blog)/wp-admin.

Once you arrive at your admin page, go to settings, then writing.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.23.26 PM

 

On the writing settings page, check the box labeled “Use Markdown for posts and pages”.  Then scroll down to the bottom and click on “Save Changes”.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 6.23.40 PM

 

Once you have enabled Markdown, you are ready to add source citations to any blog post.  You simply write a phrase, then type this set of characters beside the item needing a citation: [^1]

At the bottom of your post, you will type this set of symbols followed by the citation information: [^1]:  These endnotes should each have their own line with no other spaces or characters preceding the [^1]:

For additional citations, just use the next number in sequence.  If you want the footnote number to touch the word it appears next to, do not include a space between the text and the [^1].  For cleaner citations at the end, begin the citation right after the colon with no space.

 

Edit:  Because a friend asked a few questions, here is a short video to help you understand potential quirks with using Markdown:

Good luck!

 

 

ps – A few months ago I treated myself to the most recent edition of Evidence Explained by, Elizabeth Shown Mills.  I am so glad I did!  I have been far less frustrated trying to create accurate citations.